|Publication number||US7653686 B2|
|Application number||US 11/435,781|
|Publication date||Jan 26, 2010|
|Filing date||May 18, 2006|
|Priority date||May 19, 2005|
|Also published as||CN1867070A, CN1867070B, EP1724989A1, US20060277276|
|Publication number||11435781, 435781, US 7653686 B2, US 7653686B2, US-B2-7653686, US7653686 B2, US7653686B2|
|Original Assignee||Sony Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (16), Non-Patent Citations (2), Classifications (36), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention contains subject matter related to Japanese Patent Application JP 2005-147105 filed in the Japanese Patent Office on May 19, 2005, the entire contents of which being incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a content reproducing device and a content reproducing method which have a communication function based on, for example, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and reproduce contents such as music and the like.
2. Description of the Related Art
In related art, there has been a conventional reproducing system in which a client device (hereinafter referred to simply as a client) requests a content stored in a server device (hereinafter referred to simply as a server) via a network. Data of the content requested by the client is received from the server, and the client reproduces the content.
In this kind of reproducing system, in streaming playback by which the client reproduces a content while receiving the data thereof, pausing playback of the content is realized in such a manner that the server stops transmission immediately before an image packet to pause. Release of the pause is realized by restarting transmission from the paused image packet (for example, see Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open Publication No. 8-138354).
However, in the conventional streaming playback, a pause cannot be taken before starting playback. Even when a user wants to start playback, playback cannot be started quickly. Therefore, for example, when the whole of one song is to be recorded, particular time to request the song from the server is required before starting playback, and so, an unnecessary soundless period is recorded.
The present invention has been made to overcome the problem as described above, and it is desirable to provide a content reproducing device and a content reproducing method which are capable of immediately starting reproduction by pausing reproduction before starting reproduction.
Therefore, according to the present invention, there is provided a content reproducing device which requests content data of a desired content from a server storing content data and reproduces the content while receiving the content data requested, the content reproducing device including: a communication section which requests desired content data from the server and receives the content data; a receive buffer which buffers the content data received by the communication section; a reproducing means for reading the content data buffered in the receive buffer and reproducing the content; and a control means for controlling reproduction of the content, wherein when a stop state in which reproduction of a content is stopped is switched to a pause state in which the reproduction of the content is paused, the control means lets the communication section request the content data from the server to receive the content data, lets the receive buffer a constant volume of the content data, and also lets the reproducing means stop reading the content data from the receive buffer.
Also according to the present invention, there is provided a content reproducing method including: step of requesting desired content data from a server storing content data; step of receiving the content data; step of buffering a constant volume of content data in a receive buffer; and step of letting a reproducing means stop reading the content data, the reproducing means configured to read the content data buffered in the receive buffer and reproduce the content data.
In the present invention, when a stop state in which reproduction of a content is stopped is switched to a pause state in which the reproduction of the content is paused, content data is requested from the server and is received therefrom. A constant volume of the content data is buffered by the receive buffer, and reading of the content data is stopped, thereby to establish the pause state. Therefore, when the pause state is released, quick reproduction is possible from the beginning of the content.
A specific embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail below with reference to the drawings. A content reproducing system given as a specific example includes a server and a client connected to each other via a network. The server delivers contents, and the client reproduces the contents. In particular, the system is based on a streaming playback in which the client reproduces content data while receiving the data, by use of network protocols called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)/IP (Internet Protocol).
The internetwork layer defines a mechanism which transfers packets toward a final address from a particular device, and also defines the format of packets transmitted via the internetwork. The packets transmitted via the internetwork are called IP packets. Each IP packet is constituted by an IP header and a data part. A transmission destination IP address and a transmission source IP address are described in the IP header. Based on these IP addresses, packets are transferred between the server 2 and the client 3.
The server 2 includes a content storage section 21, a content information storage section 22, a communication section 23, a music content providing section 24, and a system control section 25. The content storage section 21 stores music contents. The content information storage section 22 stores content information concerning music contents. The communication section 23 performs communication with the client 3. The music content providing section 24 provides music content providing service. The system control section 25 performs control of the whole server 2.
The content storage section 21 stores music contents. Information concerning plural music contents stored in the content storage section 21 is stored in the content information storage section 22. As shown in
The music content providing section 24 provides the client 3 with the music contents stored in the content storage section 21.
The client 3 includes a communication section 31, a control section 32, a receiving ring buffer 33, a reproducing section 34, an amplifier 35, an input section 37, and a display section 38. The communication section 31 performs communication with the server 2. The control section 32 requests necessary data from the server 2 and controls reproduction thereof. The receiving ring buffer 33 temporarily stores music contents inputted from the server 2. The reproducing section 34 has a converter to convert a digital signal of a music content received from the server 2 into an analog signal. The amplifier 35 outputs an analog music signal to a loudspeaker 36. The input section 37 is constituted by keys or a remote controller to accept a manipulation input from a user such as a reproduction, stop, pause or the like.
The client 3 receives music contents from the server 2 and converts the digital signal of the received music contents into an analog signal, and reproduces the analog signal through the loudspeaker 36. The music contents transmitted from the server 2 are buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33. After a constant volume of the music contents is buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33, the music contents are outputted to the reproducing section 34. As a result of this, while music contents are being reproduced, sequential reproduction is achieved seamlessly between songs. The reproducing section 34 converts a digital music signal according to a PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) method into an analog music signal, and outputs the analog music signal to the amplifier 35. The analog music signal is amplified by the amplifier 35 and is then outputted from the loudspeaker 36.
The switching hub 4 analyzes packets sent from the server 2 or client 3, detects an address, and transmits the packets to the server 2 or client 3.
Described next will be reproduction performed by the content reproducing system 1. At first, the control section 32 obtains content information from the server 2, and displays the content information on the display section 38. A user selects a song which the user wants to reproduce, from the displayed content information, and instructs reproduction by means of the input section 37. The control section 32 requests content data of the song from the server 2, about which the server 2 has received a reproduction instruction. The server 2 reads the content data of the song requested by the client 3 from the content storage section 21, and delivers the data to the client 3. The client 3 writes, into the receiving ring buffer 33, the content data delivered in units of packets from the server 2. In a stage after writing of a reproducible constant volume of content data is completed, reproduction is started. Thus, the client 3 reproduces a content while receiving content data.
With reference to flowcharts shown in
Referring next to
In step S21, if the constant time has passed in the pause state, the control section 32 disconnects the communication with the server 2 (step S23), and goes to step S24. Otherwise, in step S22, if the communication is disconnected from the side of the server 2 during the pause state, the control section 32 also goes to step S24. In other words, when the communication between the server 2 and the client 3 is disconnected, the control section 32 goes to step S24.
In step S24, the control section 32 erases the content data buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33, and continues sending the data 0 to the reproducing section 34, to keep a soundless state. In addition, from the volume of data sent from the receiving ring buffer 33 to the reproducing section 34, sampling frequency, the number of channels, bit number, or the like thereof, an elapsed reproduction time which has elapsed up to now is calculated and maintained.
In steps S21 and S22, if communication is not disconnected from the side of the server 2 during the pause state and if the constant time after which the communication should be disconnected from the side of the client 3 has not yet passed, i.e., if the communication between the server 2 and the client 3 continues, the control section 32 goes to step S25 in which presence or absence of an instruction to release the pause state is detected.
In step S25, if an instruction to release the pause state is detected, reception of the content data from the server 2 is restarted, and the content data is read from the receiving ring buffer 33. The content data is outputted to the reproducing section 34 (in step S26). Reproduction is thereby restarted from the same position as the pause was started. In case of this pause release in step S26, the communication with the server 2 has not been disconnected, and the receiving ring buffer 33 has not been cleared. Therefore, reproduction can be immediately restarted from the same position. If no instruction to release the pause state is detected in step S26, the control section 32 returns to step S21.
In step S27, presence or absence of an instruction to release the pause state is detected in a state in which the communication between the server 2 and the client 3 has been disconnected (step S24). In step S27, if an instruction to release the pause state is detected, the control section 32 requests content data of packets including an elapsed reproduction time, from the server 2 (step S28). The server 2 transmits content data including reproducible packets from the elapsed reproduction time. The client 3 receives the content data (step S29). Further, a reproducible constant volume of the content data is buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33 (step S30). After the constant volume of the content data is buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33, the control section 32 reads content data from the receiving ring buffer 33, and outputs content data of the elapsed reproduction time to the reproducing section 34 (step S31). Reproduction is thereby restarted from the position at which the pause was taken.
If reproduction of a music content is thus switched from a stop state to a pause state, content data is requested from the server 2 and is received. A constant volume of the content data is buffered in the receiving ring buffer 33, and reading of the content data is stopped. A pause state is thereby made. When the pause is released, the music content can be quickly reproduced from the beginning. In other words, transition from a stop state to a pause state is possible without even once reproducing the music content. Therefore, a recording stand-by state can be used from the beginning of a music content.
In the embodiment described above, if the communication between the server 2 and the client 3 is disconnected, an elapsed reproduction time is calculated. However, the elapsed reproduction time can alternatively be calculated when a pause instruction is given.
Although the communication method of the content reproducing system 1 described above follows the TCP/IP, a different communication method may be used. Also the embodiment described above is configured to convert content data received from a server into an analog signal by the converter of the reproducing section 34. However, this configuration may be arranged so as to receive encoded content data from the server 2 and to decode and convert the data into an analog signal.
The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above but can be applied to a reproducing device for video contents.
It should be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications, combinations, sub-combinations and alterations may occur depending on design requirements and other factors insofar as they are within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.
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|1||Notice on First Office Action, dated Sep. 5, 2008, from the Shanghai Patent and Trademark Law Office, with English language translation, total of 12 pages.|
|2||Schulzrinne et al., "Draft-ietf-mmusic-rfc2326bis-08:Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)" IETF Internet Draft, Oct. 25, 2004, pp. 1-176, p. 53, paragraph 11.5-p. 57, paragraph 11.6.|
|U.S. Classification||709/203, 725/105, 725/116, 725/94, 709/236, 709/231|
|International Classification||H04N7/173, G06F13/00, H04N21/426, G10K15/02, H04N21/61, H04N21/81, H04N5/765, H04N21/6377, G06F13/38, H04N5/93, G11B20/10, G06F15/16|
|Cooperative Classification||H04L65/4092, H04N21/4333, H04N21/47202, H04N21/2408, H04N21/2387, H04N21/6377, H04N21/8106, H04L65/4084, H04L29/06027|
|European Classification||H04N21/6377, H04N21/2387, H04N21/433P, H04N21/472D, H04N21/81A, H04N21/24U, H04L29/06M4S6, H04L29/06C2, H04L29/06M4S4|
|Aug 10, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SONY CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YONEDA, MICHIAKI;REEL/FRAME:018173/0199
Effective date: 20060725
|Mar 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4